Karoo garden bird ringing, Vanrhynsdorp, January 2020

European Bee-eater

Not many gardens boast Karoo specials like European Bee-eater, Namaqua Warbler, and Lark-like Bunting. All these were ringed in a long weekend, as well as many other special species, by Dieter, Salome, Les, Karis and Itxaso.

Top numbers ringed by species were Cape Weaver, Cape Sparrow and Southern Masked-Weaver, birds that breed in the garden. A Namaqua Warbler pair also breed in the garden, and daily they were heard calling their pleasant and unique call.

Namaqua Warbler
Namaqua Warbler

European Bee-eaters perched on the telephone wires, and a fine net was put high – this net failed to catch any, but it did catch a Rock Martin and other birds. Unexpectedly, another net caught 10 European Bee-eaters – 3 adults and 7 juveniles. Karoo Scrub-Robins were only caught in spring-traps.

Karoo Scrub-Robin
Karoo Scrub-Robin

The total birds caught was 229 birds (215 ringed) of 26 species. Recaptures were relatively low at 14, indicating a high number of birds present overall. As to be expected at this time of year, many birds were moulting.

Portfolio – African Hoopoe, Lark-like Bunting, Fairy Flycatcher, Southern Double-collared Sunbird

Table. Birds ringed and recaptured in Vanrhynsdorp garden, January 2020

  Species number  Species   Scientific name  n
  317  Laughing Dove   Streptopelia senegalensis  11
  318  Namaqua Dove   Oena capensis  3
  391  White-backed Mousebird   Colius colius  1
  392  Red-faced Mousebird   Urocolius indicus  3
  404  European Bee-eater   Merops apiaster  10
  418  African Hoopoe   Upupa africana  1
  506  Rock Martin   Hirundo fuligula  1
  544  African Red-eyed Bulbul   Pycnonotus nigricans  3
  570  Familiar Chat   Cercomela familiaris  2
  581  Cape Robin-Chat   Cossypha caffra  2
  583  Karoo Scrub-Robin   Cercotrichas coryphoeus  7
  606  African Reed-Warbler   Acrocephalus baeticatus  3
  653  Namaqua Warbler   Phragmacia substriata  2
  665  Fiscal Flycatcher   Sigelus silens  4
  678  Fairy Flycatcher   Stenostira scita  1
  686  Cape Wagtail   Motacilla capensis  2
  760  Southern Double-collared Sunbird   Cinnyris chalybeus  7
  784  House Sparrow   Passer domesticus  2
  786  Cape Sparrow   Passer melanurus  48
  799  Cape Weaver   Ploceus capensis  54
  803  Southern Masked-Weaver   Ploceus velatus  24
  808  Southern Red Bishop   Euplectes orix  12
  865  White-throated Canary   Crithagra albogularis  4
  867  Streaky-headed Seedeater   Crithagra gularis  1
  871  Lark-like Bunting   Emberiza impetuani  6
  1172  Cape White-eye   Zosterops virens  15
 TOTAL  229

Thanks to Salome for hosting us!

Would you like to learn about bird ringing? Upcoming dates of ringing courses are available here.

Dieter Oschadleus
Dieter Oschadleus
Dieter Oschadleus leads the BDI bird ringing expeditions, and is able to organise bird ringing courses (having run many courses in South Africa, and some in the Seychelles). Dieter is also a registered bird guide in South Africa, and has birded widely in Africa and the Indian Ocean islands. Dieter is able to act as a bird guide for day trips in Cape Town, and is able to customise birds tours in South Africa and beyond.